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Lobectomy


Dadsgirl

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As of today we FINALLY have all the answers and need to figure out where to go from here. I guess we received the best possible news but still uncertain how to proceed. 
 My father has been diagnosed with stage 1 NSC and has the option to treat with SBRT radiation or have a  Lobectomy (older procudure)  preformed. 

Can anyone chime in on treating with radiation apposed to lobectomy? 

My gut is telling me to advise him to just take it out but his surgeon has advised us how risky the procedure is and it’s scared the hell out of him. 
My father is 75 and in decent health for his age. As of right now, other than a pesky cough and shortness of breath he doesn’t have any other symptoms that are knocking him down. 

 Any success stories using SBRT radiation apposed to lobectomy? 

 Thank you!

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Hi and welcome,  I think generally that surgery  is  considered the best option if the person can tolerate the surgery. I had a lobectomy 2 years ago at age 71, with a diagnosis of Stage 1a adenocarcinoma. I had a pretty fast recovery and am doing well today. When surgery is not advisable due to the person's health (or the person really doesn't want to have it) SBRT is a good alternative.  Any surgery has risks, including risks involved in having general anesthesia. Has your dad's surgeon said whether your dad has specific risks, greater than that of the average person? That would be good to know. Sometimes surgeons can scare the wits out of you by telling you all the possible things that could go wrong including those that are unlikely to. 

If your dad is uncertain, he could consider asking for a second opinion. Best of luck to both of you!

Bridget O

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Hi there,

I'm not happy to hear your dad has lung cancer, but happy to hear that it was caught at an early stage.  Surgery is the best possible "curative" option we have today, but people are really successful with SBRT as well.  My mom was originally diagnosed the same as your dad. She chose to have an old fashioned lobectomy.  The surgeon scared the hell out of us talking about how risky it was but that he does them all of the time.  The anesthesiologist then scared the hell out of us just prior to the surgery when he was asking questions about all of her health issues (she's not the picture of health) and his concerns about intubating her due to a fused spine. My mom was 61 at the time of her surgery.  She came through fine.  

I don't know what will be the best answer for your family, but I do have one suggestion.  Ask his docs why they aren't considering a VATS procedure instead of the full open lobectomy.  VATS is much easier to recover from, so I've heard.  If they don't have an answer for you or simply say because it's not available, you may want to check into a surgeon that does offer it, even if it involves travelling a bit.  All of his follow up will be done with his oncologist/pulmonologist/regular doc after his surgery so he would not have to be travelling to see the surgeon again.

Take Care,

Steff

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I pretty sure that our hospital doesn’t offer the VATS procudure. We do live in a small community. I’m going to call today and ask just to make sure. As for traveling to another facility, I don’t think it’s veasable. Where he is now, he qualifies for financial assistance and doesn’t have to pay a balance after Medicare. 

We are going to have a conversation tonight with my other family members and make our decision then. 

Thanks for the encouraging words! We really appreciate it! 

😊

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Both offer their own good results. Has your dad's medical team leaned one way or the other on next steps? SBRT is non-invasive and requires 3-5 sessions that go by quickly. Surgery is a tougher recovery but made easier if your dad can have the VATS procedure. I've had the lobectomy and it was a bit of a challenge. I had a lobectomy initially and then SBRT for a recurrence. The recurrence was knocked out by the SBRT so I consider it successful. 

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Not really. They basically said that the first option is a Lobectomy but radiation (in a smaller study) proves to be just as successful. I think that’s where we are getting hung up. If radiation can cure it why would they advise surgery? 

He see’s two oncologist, one that treats with chemo etc and another that treats with radiation, unfortunately the one who treats with  radiation is currently gone on vacation so we were not able to consult with him for his opinion. It will be another two weeks before we can talk with him and my father is antsy! He has a hard time understanding that all this takes time. (He first heard the C word on dec 7th and doesn’t want to wait any longer, he’s concerned about it spreading) 

The impression I got from his oncologist was to go ahead with the Lobectomy, he talked a lot about it apposed to the radiation. 

I’ll update this evening after we talk more with my family. 

 

Thanks again! 

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My understanding is that surgery is always considered the BEST way to ensure the cancer is removed completely.  Radiation CAN be just as effective, but all the recommendations seem to be that it's most appropriate if someone is not a suitable candidate for surgery.  

I think it's definitely worth finding out at least whether there is a place he could have VATS, that provides similar financial assistance.  The difference in pain and recovery time is significant.

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  • 1 year later...
On 2/13/2019 at 10:37 AM, Steff said:

Hi there,

I'm not happy to hear your dad has lung cancer, but happy to hear that it was caught at an early stage.  Surgery is the best possible "curative" option we have today, but people are really successful with SBRT as well.  My mom was originally diagnosed the same as your dad. She chose to have an old fashioned lobectomy.  The surgeon scared the hell out of us talking about how risky it was but that he does them all of the time.  The anesthesiologist then scared the hell out of us just prior to the surgery when he was asking questions about all of her health issues (she's not the picture of health) and his concerns about intubating her due to a fused spine. My mom was 61 at the time of her surgery.  She came through fine.  

I don't know what will be the best answer for your family, but I do have one suggestion.  Ask his docs why they aren't considering a VATS procedure instead of the full open lobectomy.  VATS is much easier to recover from, so I've heard.  If they don't have an answer for you or simply say because it's not available, you may want to check into a surgeon that does offer it, even if it involves travelling a bit.  All of his follow up will be done with his oncologist/pulmonologist/regular doc after his surgery so he would not have to be travelling to see the surgeon again.

Take Care,

Steff

I had vats removing the middle lobe of right lung on feb 28 2018 . I drove myself home March 3 from the hospital. A three hour drive. I took min drugs and have returned to work as a paramedic. Just my story. I am a little less long winded. But doing well. 

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